Newest Review: ... really nice. The sound of the waves crashing against the beach and little cafes and pubs along the way make it really enjoyable. Scarboro... more
The North's best seaside resort?
Scarborough in General
Member Name: stuff10
Scarborough in General
Advantages: Peasholm Park, donuts, ice cream, fish and chips, Tricolos, some decent shops
Disadvantages: Not really changed in the last 20 years, can be very busy, frequented by the underclasses
I have mixed feelings about Scarborough. On the one hand I have some good memories of family breaks there from my childhood, but then going back as an adult it doesn't quite live up to my fond memories.
Scarborough is an English seaside resort located on the East coast. It is within easy driving distance from places such as York, Hull, Leeds, Middlesbrough and my home city, Sheffield.
What to do
Scarborough is divided into 2 distinct areas: the North Bay and the South Bay which are separated by a large headland on top of which sits the ruins of Scarborough Castle.
The two bays are very different to each other with the South Bay being full of your usual seaside attractions: amusement arcades and pubs. The arcades line the entire length of the South Bay and can be very busy on summer days (if we get any). Likewise the pubs are pretty frequent and can be a little rowdy later on in the day. Too much beer + too much sun = idiots, unfortunately.
The North Bay is much calmer and quieter than the South and usually a lot less busy as well. There are no amusement arcades and no pubs, but there is the lovely area known as Peasholm Park (see below).
Both bays have large beach areas for those daring enough to endure the cold North Sea. Donkey rides are available priced at £2 each, although sadly I'm now too old and too fat to go on one :(
I can't comment too much on the amusement arcades as at 26 (approaching 27... late 20s... argh!) I've grown out of throwing my hard-earned money away on useless grabber machines and games that I could just play on my Xbox. One thing I will say is that the music can be bloody annoying when you're walking past!
There's plenty of areas to find refreshments throughout the day. You're at the seaside, so you have to eat unhealthily! Fish and chips for dinner, followed by some donuts (5 for £2) and an ice cream!
If you want to get away from the seafront crowds, I recommend a walk around the headland on Marine Drive. This road runs next to the sea and used to be closed quite regularly when the rough seas endangered traffic and people alike. However, in the last 5 years or so Scarborough Council have spent a great deal of money on sea defences and (as far as I'm aware) the road is now always open.
The town centre is located up the hill between the North and South bays. It's a fair old walk up the steep slopes but is well worth doing to get away from the crowds and admire the coastline below you.
My favourite area of Scarborough is undoubtedly Peasholm Park, which I reviewed a few days ago. In short, it's a great place to get away from the crowds and is a beautiful area in its own right. A lake is filled with ducks, swans and geese, there's a model battleships show that plays during the summer and there's a pretty decent 18-hole pitch n putt golf course too.
Where to eat
You're at the seaside so you simply have to have fish and chips for dinner - it's a rule! My recommendation is Winking Willy's which can be found in the South Bay. You can eat inside if you wish or in the unlikely event that it's actually sunny you can sit on bench outside or better still cross the road and eat your dinner overlooking the harbour... just watch out for the hungry seagulls who seem to have developed quite a taste for fish and chips!
If you're staying into the evening, there's only one place I can recommend: Tricolos - a great Italian restaurant located on the main road into the town centre. The food and service are great and they even serve the illusive Italian beer Messina, which is fantastic. More info can be found on their website: www.tricolos.co.uk.
Where to stay
We haven't stayed overnight in Scarborough for a couple of years now, preferring to make day trips instead. If you do want to stay though, I would recommend the Pheonix Hotel which is located on the cliff overlooking the North Bay. Rooms are approximately £60 per night and I would recommend paying the extra £5 for a sea view as it's great to look out of your window onto the castle and the North Bay - especially if the sea is rough! The hotel has free guest parking and is only a couple of minutes away from the town centre. More info can be found at: www.hotel-phoenix.co.uk.
Surprisingly for a relatively small town, I always seem to buy something from Scarborough! I like my designer clothes (Lacoste, Henry Lloyd, Penguin, Duck and Cover etc) and there are a couple of boutiques within the town centre that sell all the above brands at pretty reasonable prices. As well as the couple of designer places there's also the usual High Street stores including Argos, HMV, Debenhams etc.
Scarborough vs Blackpool vs Skegness
The other 2 Northern seaside resorts that I've been to are Skegness and Blackpool, which for me just aren't as nice and picturesque as Scarborough is. Skegggy has some great mini golf courses but it's so flat that it's easy to forget that you're near the sea as half the time you can't actually see it!
Blackpool on the other hand is just an absolute dump, full of idiots on lads weekends and hen parties. I'll only ever go back there again for the football, and even then it'll be a short visit! The only good thing about Blackpool is that is has excellent motorway links... which make it easy to get away from!
Scarborough is a pretty decent place to go for a day trip, but I couldn't stay there overnight again. £60+ per night is bit too expensive for a UK seaside resort which if we're honest hasn't particularly changed in about the last 20 years.
Summary: A fun day out, but no more than that really